Western Regional Conference

Western Regional Conference

Amnesty West is heading to the Land of Enchantment! The 2014 Western Regional Conference will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico November 7-9, 2014. Join us for three days of learning, networking, skills-building and activism around domestic and international human rights issues. This year's conference will continue the tradition of providing exceptional educational workshops, opportunities to meet and share with like-minded individuals, access to phenomenal speakers and leaders in the human rights field, and building momentum to take back to your own community.

Conference Agenda

The 2014 Western Regional Conference will the evening of Friday, November 7 and continue through early afternoon on Sunday, November 9. We are excited to announce the following speakers, panelists and workshops!

Download the full agenda now.

Speakers include:
Steven W. Hawkins - Executive Director of Amnesty International USA
Hakim Bellamy -Award-winning Author, Television Host and Inaugural Poet Laureate of Albuquerque
Michael de la Rocha - Musician / Writer / Social Entrepreneur
Juan Melendez-Colon- A tireless human rights activists who was wrongly convicted of murder and spent over 17 years on Death Row
Jennifer K. Harbury - Author and Refugee / Migrant Rights Activist
Tamika D. Mallory - Civil Rights Activist
Peter Simonson - Executive Director of the ACLU New Mexico
Justin Remer-Thamert - Program Director, New Mexico Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice
Carlos Contreras and Diahndra Grill - Co-Founders of JustWrite
Sofia Martinez - Co-Founder of Los Jardines Institute
Ann Burroughs - Executive Director of the Taproot Foundation and Chair of the Board of Amnesty International USA
and more!

Panels include:
Police Brutality and Human Rights: An Epidemic from Albuquerque to Ferguson and Beyond
The Refugee Crisis: Our Chickens Coming Home to Roost?
A Beautiful Movement: Building Relationships and Power

Workshops and Breakout Sessions:
Human Rights Violations and US Supplied Weapons
Working Effectively for Individuals and Communities at Risk
Working to End the Death Penalty in Your State
Speaking to Political Power: Putting Our Human Rights Concerns Effectively Before Congress
Ending the “Forever War”: Guantanamo, Drones and Mass Surveillance
Inclusivity and Intersectionality in Activism
Storytelling and Leadership
Non Violent Direct Action Strategies
Raise the Roof with Fundraising

Starting now through Saturday, November 8th 6:00pm

Are you excited for the upcoming Western Regional Conference? Let us know you're coming, share your excitement, and tell us what you're hoping to see or learn about at this year's Regional Conference on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #Amnesty2014 and #AmnestyWest

Participate in our first ever Western Regional Conference social media contest and be eligible to win fun prizes, to learn more please click on the Contest tab, above.

Accommodations/Conference Travel

The conference will be held at the Embassy Suites, just three miles from the Albuquerque International Sunport and minutes from the University of New Mexico, downtown Albuquerque and Old Town. Conference participants will receive a discounted room rate of $99+tax per night (1-4 people per room). All rooms are two-room suites and include a sofa bed, refrigerator, free wi-fi internet and made-to-order complimentary breakfast! Parking is free and available onsite. Book your room by Thursday, October 23 to get the discounted room rate of $99! Use this conference site to book your room or call 1-800-EMBASSY and mention Amnesty International. The conference venue is just three miles from the Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), which serves most major airlines.

November 7th - 9th, 2014
Embassy Suites Hotel (map)

Conference Prices:
General Amnesty Member
General Non-Member
Student Amnesty Member
Student Non-Member


Attendees are encouraged to stay at the Embassy Suites. Conference participants will receive a discounted room rate of $99+tax per night (1-4 people per room). All rooms are two-room suites and include a sofa bed, refrigerator, free wi-fi internet and made-to-order complimentary breakfast! Parking is free and available onsite. Book your room by October 17! Call 1-800-EMBASSY and mention Amnesty International.

The conference venue is just three miles from the Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), which serves most major airlines.

Getting There: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) is the nearest airport, and is only minutes from the conference venue.

Amtrak runs directly through Albuquerque and is a great way to travel from around the region. Hop on a train, go to sleep, and wake up in New Mexico Friday morning for the conference! Check out routes and tickets today!

Roadtripping to an Amnesty West conference is not only one of the best ways to get to the regional conference, but is a time-honored tradition! Albuquerque is easily accessible by road from across the southwest, and activists will be hitting the pavement and making an adventure of it from around the region.

Recruit Others to Attend!

This year's conference is bound to be impactful, inspiring, and community-building. The more people who attend, the more we will accomplish for the human rights movement at home and around the world! Challenge yourself and your group to set goals for attendance, and start recruiting early!

Action Alley, Ideas Fair and Action Stations

One of highlights of the Western Regional Conference is the Ideas Fair, where conference attendees can see a showcase of work from groups around the region. Amnesty International chapters are invited to make a simple display showing something they have recently undertaken to share with others, building the skills of all groups. In addition, the conference will have Action Stations, which are creative, visuals opportunities to take action right at the conference, while showing others how they can create the action in their own community and campus. To exhibit and showcase your work or host an action station at the 2014 Western Regional Conference, please complete this form!


AIUSA is providing limited subsidies in the form of housing for the 2014 Western Regional Conference. The subsidies are intended for active AI members and activists or those hoping to become active. One subsidy award will cover one hotel room at the Embassy Suites from November 7-9 (2 nights), and will be provided for every four people you bring to the regional conference. Subsidies are being awarded as applications are received and the last day to apply is Thursday, October 23rd – apply today! In exchange for a subsidy, award recipients will asked to volunteer during the conference.

Ways to Support

The more people and support we secure for our Regional Conference, the more we will accomplish for the human rights movement, while ensuring an optimal experience for our attendees. Your participation in the conference is crucial to its success, so we all need to spread the word!

Here are a few ways you can help and show your support.

Join The Host Committee

If you are attending the conference and can assist Amnesty International USA by promoting the event to your network of friends, family, and colleagues – you can join our Host Committee! This is the easiest way to show your support and it takes very little effort. Sign up now to have your name recognized on certain conference promotions including the event page.

We ask Host Committee members to confirm the following:

  • if you are an individual, we ask that you confirm at least 6 attendees
  • if you are an organization, we ask that you confirm at least 10 attendees

Amnesty International USA provides an email-able invite, Facebook and Twitter instructions to help you reach your goal. We will also provide you with a report to view all the attendees that confirm you as their Host Committee member.

Thank you for considering this opportunity, especially since a good percentage of our current members and activists first learned about Amnesty International at a Regional Conference!


Volunteers will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis and there are a limited number of spaces, so we encourage you to apply early.

If you are interested in volunteering for the Regional Conference, please contact Sara Schmidt at sschmidt@aiusa.org or 415-744-4675.

Interested in donating a monetary donation or in-kind services?

Our Regional Conferences count on the support of individuals like yourself to ensure we have another successful year. If you are a business owner or work for a local business and are interested in providing support to the conference via an in-kind gift, pro bono service or a monetary donation, we would like to hear from you. Event support from businesses enables us to enhance our conference and improve our attendees’ experience, while keeping the costs down for our members.

We tailor each partnership to offer unique and highly visible marketing opportunities. Support for Amnesty International USA highlights a company’s corporate responsibility, while exposing its brand to hundreds of our loyal supporters, community leaders and members.

We are looking for businesses to assist with the following (this is a list of a few opportunities): videography, photography, underwriting a block of tickets/stays for youth to attend, venues to host social events, and companies interested in supporting the conference as local corporate supporters.

Please contact our Director of Events, Johnny Gonzales at (212) 633-4181 or jgonzales@aiusa.org for more information.


The two people who post, Instagram, and tweet the most using both #Amnesty2014 and #AmnestyWest leading up to and during the Regional Conference will win AIUSA swag. The contest will end on Saturday, November 8th at 6:00pm and we will announce the winners at 8:00pm. First place will win a large basket filled with Amnesty gear from our store! Second place will go home with an assortment of AIUSA goodies! Winners must be present and an attendee. Make sure to follow us for updates and ideas on postings!

Below are a few suggestions:

  • Promoting and inviting your friends to the conference
  • Informing your friends why you are going to the conference
  • Posting information about the speakers and workshops
  • Documenting your trip to Albuquerque
  • Taking photos of the ideas fair and people taking action at the conference
  • Creating your own photo action promoting the conference or about one of our campaigns
  • Posting your photos on the Western Regional Conference Facebook Page

Conference Registration

Online registration is now closed but you can register on-site at the conference! We suggest you arrive one hour early to register before the program begins. Registration prices range from $20 for student members, $25 for student non-members, $35 for general members and $40 for general non-members.

Contact Us

Want to get more involved with the conference? Contact Sara Schmidt at sschmidt@aiusa.org / 415-744-4675 to see how you can get in on the action!